HR Alert

NJ: Amended Discrimination Law Addresses Breastfeeding and Reasonable Accommodation

Amended Law Currently in Effect

New Jersey has amended its discrimination law to cover breastfeeding and require reasonable accommodation for nursing mothers. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Employer Prohibitions
Employers are generally prohibited from (among other things) refusing to hire or employ, discharging, or discriminating against an individual in compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual's pregnancy or breastfeeding, among other protected categories.

Additionally, employers may not treat--for employment-related purposes--a woman employee that the employer knows (or should know) is affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding in a manner less favorable than other persons not affected but similar in their ability (or inability) to work.

Reasonable Accommodation
An employer generally must provide reasonable accommodation for needs related to an employee's pregnancy, when the employee (based on the advice of her physician) requests the accommodation. In the case of an employee breastfeeding her infant child, the accommodation must include reasonable break time each day and a suitable room or other location with privacy (other than a toilet stall) close to the work area for the employee to express breast milk.

Note: There is an exception if the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would be an undue hardship on its business operations.

Additional details and prohibitions are contained in the text of the amended law. The law is currently in effect.

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